A third of all Essex children aged between six and 10 took part in this year’s Big Friendly Read, it has been announced.
Run by Essex Libraries, the Big Friendly Read saw children challenged to read six books, and was themed around the work of Roald Dahl.
The challenge, which saw participants gain rewards for each book completed, had over 36,000 participants, and over 468,000 books borrowed.
Cllr Anne Brown, Cabinet Member responsible for libraries at Essex County Council, said: “This was a national project, organised by the reading agency, which tapped into this year’s centenary celebrations of Roald Dahl.”
“As well as reading the books, children chatted with library staff and volunteers about their reading choices. They also had the opportunity to be part of an online forum, blog and review reads and suggest books to others around the country.
“Clearly from the numbers involved it has been a huge success in Essex, and importantly it has also led to over 1,500 children becoming new members of the library service.”
The project was also supported by over 500 volunteers who gave up over 11,000 hours of time throughout the Big Friendly Read.
Cllr Brown added: “The volunteers who give up their time to support the library service are absolutely vital and what a fantastic way to give something back to your local community.”
To find out more about volunteering visit your local library for details.